Recounting 2008 flood: The things I carried with me

It’s difficult to believe that this month marks nine years since the Columbus-area flood of 2008.

As I write this column, I sit here in my sunroom which overlooks a big back yard and Haw Creek. Once again, my mind is flooded with memories that started out as a beautiful, sunny, June 7 afternoon.

Since I live on Haw Creek, my husband and I lived this event along with you and the city of Columbus. He was in Stage 4 of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the time.

As memories come back to my mind, I think about the predicament I was in and trying to decide in two minutes or less what I should grab and carry as I walked out my door, all the while not knowing how long we would be away or what we would find when we returned.

There were four objects I decided to take with me. This is what they were and why I chose each one.

My cellphone: God knew this was about to become a catastrophic event and that I would need a way to communicate with family, friends, neighbors and others for a period of time to come.

My billfold: God also knew I would be needing identification and cash. I don’t know how many times during the next months I was asked to provide identification to various businesses and relief organizations that were trying to ease my distress and provide for both basic and complex needs, short- and long-term.

My credit cards: Although I didn’t carry a balance on any of these, I could just imagine seeing them as they floated down the creek, someone finding them and using them to finance a pretty nice lifestyle for a few days while I was preoccupied with more pressing matters.

My Bible: I had purchased it 12 years earlier and had made notes and put other markings in it. I didn’t want to have to start anew just yet. I was hoping to get at least another eight years out of it before having to get my next one. God knew I would be needing to spend time reading it each day so he could encourage and give me wisdom and guidance in the days ahead.

Several times in the past nine years I have looked back at the time of the flood and wondered, “If it happened today what I would choose to carry out with me as I was leaving the floodwaters?”

Would I choose the same four objects or would I decide in favor of pictures, mementos of my children’s births and growing up years at home or would I choose college diplomas, the little bit of gold jewelry I possessed at the time or one of my stringed instruments?

As much as it has pained and brought sadness to me to loose everything I did, I would still choose the same four objects I chose on my way out the door that day — hands down. I chose exactly what I would need in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Though you may have chosen things that were totally different from what I chose, God knew what I would need just as he knows what you would need.

I’m thankful to this day that God knows us intimately. He always knows what we need before we even know we need it.

Luke 12:7 reads in part, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered ….”

Nita Evans of Columbus is owner of Confidential Christian Counseling, focusing her work especially with ministry leaders and their families. She also is a Columbus Police Department chaplain and a national retreat and conference speaker. She can be reached at 812-614-7838 or by visiting